austen jane

  • Darcy: [on Lizzie and Jane] How dumb do they think we are?
  • Bingley: Sometimes Jane leaves me pictures of food instead of a shopping list.

Today’s prompt coincided perfectly with my counseling homework, writing down moments when I feel happy. Day 23 of the February challenge by @journaling-junkie

Pen: Pilot Vanishing Point
Ink: De'Atramentis Pine Green

ashscented  asked:

Hi there, I have a question for you! I was discussing this with my Jane Austen professor today, and I wanted to know what you think: Does it bother you when people accept Jane as simply a "Romance Novelist" like, yes, her novels have romance in them but on what level is the romance circumstantial and satirical?

I think those people like to selectively ignore that Jane Austen herself can be quoted as distancing herself entirely from the “romantic” as it was known in her time, (“I could not sit seriously down to write a serious Romance under any other motive than to save my life, & if it were indispensable for me to keep it up & never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first chapter. No - I must keep my own style & go on in my own way; and though I may never succeed again in that, I am convinced that I should totally fail in any other.”) and also how unfair it is to then also consign her to the realm of “romance novels” in the modern era when she herself would have had no concept like unto our Harlequins and Mills & Boons. So on a genre-level, I do find calling Austen a Romance Novelist to be inaccurate and over-simplifying and downright lazy, because it’s people choosing to look at the fact that the focus of her novels are young women and that the only honourable provision for young women of that class was marriage, and so they end in marriage, but those marriages are funny, human, real, and, (we hope) happy–which was a pretty good ending, and not impossible, in Austen’s time. All her characters and plots could have been her contemporaries–her neighbours, her family, her friends. All the drama is entirely within the scope of normal human beings.

Under such a consideration, Shakespeare’s comedies are ‘comedies’ because they, too, end with marriages, and in the case of plays like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, they’re full of magic and fairies and extraordinary stuff, and yet they’re not dismissed as frothy romance the way Austen’s entire canon can sometimes be. (Which, if you ever get the chance, please go and see a period-reproduction of one of Shakespeare’s comedies at the Globe theatre, because there will be enough dick-, puke-, and fart-jokes to make you realize that Shakespeare was ALSO the seedy-drugstore-pulp-fiction-novelist of his day and he L O V E D it.) I know that The Tempest and other later plays are sometimes categorized as Shakespeare’s Romances, but that was a term assigned to them by a late-Victorian academic and certainly not due to the mere fact that there was love and marriage in the plays, but more on the basis of the plays’ spectacles and themes of faith and redemption, more in keeping with that particular era’s definition of Romantic and not romantic, but that is a whole ‘nother discussion in itself.

While it does bother me that people will insist upon categorizing Austen’s works as romances (doubtless due to how adaptations have brought general awareness of her work into the mainstream consciousness,) it is not because I have any particular distaste for romances as a form. We’re all pretty aware of the general cultural dismissal of any art that is produced by or for women in particular (”chick” flicks and lit being usually uttered with distaste or at the very least a very broad assumption about the content and character of the piece being just very generally Female and therefore lacking much substance or originality…meanwhile every minute some middle-aged man’s fictionalized sepia-tinted musings on his mid-life crisis is given beard-stroking acclaim for its raw power and fresh perspective.) And I think this is where I have a lot of problems with Austen being shoved into the romance category, because of how the world in general (academia included) treats romance and women’s fiction. There is bad women’s fiction out there, but I’m sure no more than there is bad men’s fiction, and to have a narrative which does encompass stories of finding love and happily-ever-after should not be considered a mark against it, by any means.

Essentially, my view of people calling Austen a Romance Novelist is, firstly, that they are far too lazy and ignorant to even be putting themselves forward to enter into a serious discussion of Austen’s work at all; and secondly, even if by some alteration of history and literature it turned out she WAS a Romance Novelist, after all…well, why on earth should that term be presumed degrading and dismissive? Romance is wonderful.

I’ll watch it in small bites day by day -not really the kind of movie I like- but from what I already watched of The Jane Austen Book Club, Grigg is the man of my life.

I don’t know why they look at him that way.

Sci-fi conferences, bicycle, reads what you suggest, kind of a nerd… He is gold.

veganmorigirl replied to your post “Hi there, I have a question for you! I was discussing this with my…”

I love that you used Shakespeare as another example here. One of my professors, a Shakespearean, said he wouldn’t talk about Jane Austen because she was such an “overblown romantic novelist”, and because she didn’t write about the things happening outside her own immediate surroundings (which is, as far as I’ve understood it, done on purpose) she was basically just a “silly female author”. (He didn’t use those words, but it seemed pretty clear that that was what he meant.)

Your professor is a hack who appears to have no sense of irony or true understanding of either Austen or Shakespeare if he thinks no comparisons may be drawn or are worth exploring between two of the greatest writers in English literature. Shakespeare’s entire body of work is deeply infused with references drawn from his own life experience, particular even to the countryside of Warwickshire in which he grew up, even where it might be anachronistic or weird on a technical level to pair that kind of imagery or language with settings like ANCIENT ROME or a FAIRY KINGDOM. (One could argue on a basic level that Shakespeare is therefore more ‘fanciful’ whereas Austen’s work is deeply-rooted realism, for fuck’s sake.) Shakespeare and Austen both gloried in their own kinds of silliness, for silliness is a part of life, as much as seriousness.

Tell him he can come to my house and try saying his bullshit to my fucking face.

anonymous asked:

I feel like I may be wrong about this, but often I hear Jane Austen's novels referred to as "Romance" novels (meaning from the Romantic period), when actually they don't share many characteristics with other Romantic works. Maybe that's where the confusion lies with classing her novels as romantic?

Given Austen’s penchant for Georgian-style satire and dry wit in her works, and her particular skewering of Romanticism when it comes to the meta-commentary of Northanger Abbey and the characterization of Marianne Dashwood, it would clearly be wrong to categorize Austen’s canon as a part of the artistic and intellectual movement of the period, which was just getting underway at the end of her lifetime. To some degree some of her character arcs could be seen as tied to the idea of the Bildungsroman, but as this term wouldn’t come into use until after her death, she is really much more a product of the mid-18th century literary influences she herself would have been reading, as well as contemporary Gothic novels. Romanticism is more rightly and closely associated with later decades, moving well into the Victorian era and the work of Ruskin, the Rossettis, and their ilk. While there’s some overlap between timelines for Austen’s later life and the very beginnings of what would later become the Romantic artistic style proper, I think it’s really stretching things to include Austen among the Romantics, given the clear disparity between tones and styles in general. But given that people routinely muck up periods and tag Baroque et al. as “Victorian”, I doubt anyone has the time or energy to police these misapprehensions on a large scale. 😉

So I can see where some folks might be confused about the periods and the Romantic artistic movement, but it’s a basic mistake which is easily corrected, so I wouldn’t accept that anyone who thought Austen honestly belongs with other Romantic literature knew enough about Austen, at all. It’s a mistake I could correct and easily forgive once, but if someone were to insist, I wouldn’t waste another moment in trying to sensibly converse with them.

If Jane Austen wrote The Empire Strikes Back:

He dueled him for many a long minute, and then trapping him at the end of a gantry, removed his hand from his wrist. Luke was surprised, but said not a word beyond his cry of pain. After a silence of several minutes, Vader came towards him in an agitated manner, and thus began,

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to offer you a place at my side to throw down the Emperor and reign over this galaxy.”

Luke’s astonishment was beyond expression. He stared, coloured, doubted, and was silent. This Vader considered sufficient encouragement, and the avowal of all that he felt immediately followed. He spoke well, but there were feelings besides those of the heart to be detailed, and he was not more eloquent on the subject of tenderness than of ambition.

“You do not yet realize your importance, and only now have begun to discover your power. Join me and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.” 

In spite of his deeply-rooted dislike, Luke could not be insensible to the compliment of such a Sith Lord’s offer, though his intentions did not vary for an instant. He attempted to compose himself to answer Vader with patience as per the training Yoda had attempted to, but the pain from the end of his arm and the longstanding list of offenses against his friends gave Luke great trouble in this manner, and he replied thusly,

“In such cases as this, it is, I believe, the established mode to express a sense of obligation for the sentiments avowed. It is natural that obligation should be felt, and if I could feel gratitude, I would now thank you. But I cannot – I have never desired your good opinion, and you have certainly bestowed it most unwillingly. I will never join you.”

Darth Vader, who was leaning against the railing of the gantry with the gaze of his mask fixed on Luke’s face, seemed to catch his words with no less resentment than surprise. His fist tightened with anger, and the disturbance of his mind was visible in every movement. He was struggling for the appearance of composure, and would not speak, till he believed himself to have attained it. The pause was to Luke’s feelings dreadful. At length, in a voice of forced calmness, he said,

“And this is all the reply which I am to have the honour of expecting! I might, perhaps, wish to be informed why, with so little endeavour at civility, I am thus rejected. But it is of small importance.”

“I might as well enquire,” replied Luke, “why, with so evident a design of offending and insulting me, you chose to hand me this offer after removing my own? Was not this some excuse for incivility, if I was uncivil? But I have other provocations. You know I have. Had not my own feelings decided against you, had they been indifferent, or had they even been favourable, do you think that any consideration would tempt me to accept the offer of the Sith Lord, who has been the means of hunting my friends across the galaxy?”

He paused, and saw with no slight indignation that Vader was listening with an air which proved him wholly unmoved by any feeling of remorse.

“Can you deny that you have done it?” Luke asked.

With assumed tranquillity he then replied, “I have no wish of denying it. I have done everything in my power to crush the Rebellion and rejoice in my successes.“

Luke disdained the appearance of noticing this civil reflection, but its meaning did not escape, nor was it likely to conciliate, him.

"But it is not merely this affair,” Luke continued, “on which my dislike is founded. Long before it had taken place, my opinion of you was decided. Your character was unfolded in the recital which I received many months ago from Obi-Wan Kenobi. On this subject, of my father, what can you have to say?”

“You took an eager interest in that Jedi’s explanations,” said Vader in a less tranquil tone, and with a heightened colour.

“Who that knows what his understanding of the Force has been, can help feeling an interest in his worldview?”

“The Force” repeated Darth Vader contemptuously; “yes, the Light Side of the Force is great indeed. I am convinced in my knowledge that Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.”

“He told me enough,” cried Luke with energy. “You have long ago killed him!”

“No” said Vader, as he leaned across the railing towards Luke, “I am your father. Examine your feelings; you know it to be true.”

Luke felt himself growing more ashamed at this revelation, and despite his utmost efforts, a distraught denial left his mouth.

“You can destroy the Emperor,” continued Vader. “He has forseen this, and this is the estimation that I hold you in: it is your destiny. If you would but join me, together we can rule the galaxy as father and son. Come with me; it is the only way.”

Trapped as he was on the end of the gantry, it was clear what decision lay ahead for Luke, and again his intentions remained unaltered. With a calm descending upon him, Luke spoke with composure when he said,

“You are mistaken, Vader, if you suppose that your entrapment of me will mean the entrapment of my loyalty. From the very beginning, your actions, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your murders, and your imprisonment and torture of a young woman, were such as to form so immoveable a dislike that I had not known you a day before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to call father.”

To conclude his statement, and provide great shock to Vader, Luke stepped off the gantry.


@epix-elle​, this is the result of your “Darcy Vader” comment